Revised ICC rules boost G20 efforts to curtail corruption

  • 17 October 2011
Combatting corruption

Responding to the G20’s call on business to stamp out corruption, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has launched the ICC Rules on Combating Corruption. The new ICC rules delineate measures companies should take to prevent corruption, including strong measures to end bribery and extortion.

ICC pointed out that G20 efforts to stabilize the economy and stimulate economic growth, trade and employment must address the drain on the economy caused by corruption. ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier said: “Corruption is a real threat to the integrity of markets, especially at a time when confidence and stability are most needed. Stamping out corruption will stimulate job creation, boost business confidence and open doors for emerging markets to attract foreign direct investment.”

The World Bank has estimated that corruption reduced annual economic growth by up to 1%, while the IMF reports that investment in corrupt countries is reduced by at least 5% when compared to countries that are relatively corruption-free.

The G20 has pledged to ‘lead by example’ through its Anti-Corruption Action Plan, which calls for ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and adoption of other laws aimed at thwarting bribery and corrupt practices, and also asks business to strengthen corporate efforts in fighting corruption. ICC has urged G20 leaders to ratify and implement UNCAC and encourages work with non-G20 states toward its universal adoption and implementation.

“As far back as the Pittsburgh Summit, the G20 has been speaking out against corruption and has pledged to ratify and fully implement UNCAC,” said Mr Carrier. “But while they’ve made progress, more can still be done to promote a transparent and inclusive review process. We hope they will continue to follow through and demonstrate leadership that the rest of the world is looking for,” said Mr Carrier.

The ICC Rules on Combating Corruption provide a global standard for the private sector and respond directly to the G20’s call to the private sector and to UNCAC’s requirement that business steps up its efforts to fight against corruption.

“The ICC rules are evidence that we at ICC are holding up our end of the deal,” said Mr Carrier.

ICC was the first organization representing world business to issue anti-corruption rules. The first edition, launched in 1977, laid the cornerstone for ICC’s pioneer role of championing business self-regulation to combat corruption.

Jean-Pierre Mean, Chair of the ICC task force in charge of the revision, said: “Combating corruption requires strong top-management commitment and systematic organization to instil an anti-corruption corporate culture. The new ICC Rules on Combating Corruption are a tangible tool for business to take action against corruption and respond to G20 leaders. They are renewed evidence of the business community’s unflagging support for international anti-corruption instruments and they respond directly to the G20’s call for concrete action by business.”

General enough to be used by businesses as a method of self-regulation against the backdrop of applicable national laws and international conventions, the revised rules comprise three parts: a first part consisting of substantive rules on key points (including definitions of bribery and solicitation and how to deal with third parties), a second part on corporate policies to support compliance on points including political contributions, gifts and hospitality, and facilitation payments; and a third part outlining key elements for an efficient corporate compliance programme.

The ICC rules promote awareness of the need to confront private-to-private corruption (corruption between private entities), as this form of bribery also distorts competition.

The timely release of the revised rules ahead of B20 and G20 meetings, scheduled to take place in Cannes, France in November, aims to address the undermining effects of corruption on international trade and the rule of law.

Produced by the ICC Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption, the rules are available as part of a suite of pragmatic ICC tools to help business drive integrity in business transactions. The commission continues to develop such tools that provide guidance on a range of related issues including gifts and hospitality, and solicitation in public procurement.

They include:

ICC Rules for Combating Extortion
ICC Fighting Corruption Handbook
Nine steps to responsible business conduct
Whistleblowing Guidelines
Business Case against Corruption
ICC Guidelines on Use of Agents, Intermediaries and Other Third Parties
Download a PDF copy of the ICC Rules on Combating Corruption

Download the ICC’s Recommendations to the G20 on Fighting Corruption

Visit the ICC Bookstore at the following link to purchase Fighting Corruption: International Corporate Integrity Handbook 

For more information please visit the ICC Commission on Corporate Responsibility & Anti-corruption